“Just always remember, beauty is not in the face. Beauty is a light in the heart.”
– Khahlil Gibran
We all have an inner light within us that if we allow it to shine through, it lights up our faces, hearts, and beings. This, although true, can be difficult to remember in day-to-day life.
Let’s face it, life gets busy. We juggle a hectic schedule–working, driving children to extracurricular activities, and attempting to cook balanced meals. Looking and feeling gorgeous doesn’t always feel realistic. With this in mind, the world is also incredibly connected. Within seconds, it’s possible to scroll through perfectly crafted Instagram and Facebook pages that show models bathing in the ocean, drinking green smoothies, and all the while, looking fabulous. In short, the access to glowingly beautiful profiles can often leave many feeling less than.
For those living in the “real world,” imagine yourself in line at the grocery store sporting a messy bun and some good old comfort clothes. Suddenly, we are face-to-face with a woman who is incredibly “put together.” Maybe the woman in question is stunning, well-dressed, and has her make up ever so perfectly applied that it would impress even the likes of Coco Chanel. When faced with another who you may perceive as a stunner, what are your first thoughts?
For many, the image of another who is seen as “more beautiful,” can leave an emotional trail of unworthiness and jealousy. Not only are these feelings not fun, but they are entirely self-destructive. At the end of the day, everyone has their “bad” beauty days and their “shiny feeling” days. But how can someone learn to embrace another’s beauty without questioning her own? How can you stop comparing yourself to others and love yourself more?
Comparing ourselves to others tends to be incredibly common. “However, if we learn to go deeper into who we are and reinforce our wonderful qualities, we can stand in the strength and confidence of our true self,” explains Agapi Stassinopoulos. Stassinopoulos has an MA in Psychology and is a best-selling author with her newest book, Wake Up to The Joy of You. She also conducts workshops for Thrive Global, a company founded by her sister, Arianna Huffington, to help change the way we work and live.
Looking inward and digging deep to realize and affirm the qualities that you are proud of helps you to see that you are more than just looks. Coincidentally, knowing your own worth, also helps you to stop comparing yourself to others. You can appreciate someone else’s without jumping into a major panic.
For example, when invited to a glamorous event, Stassinopoulos didn’t have the chance to go home and change into her beautiful dress. Instead, she had to go to the glitzy event wearing her business clothes from the day. For many, this potential fish out of water situation would have been much too intimidating, and understandably so. However, Stassinopoulos went anyways, she was even photographed with an ultra cool looking Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas. There was a choice to make: she could feel completely off put by all of the beautiful women around her, or stay at the event and enjoy herself.
Stassinopoulos chose the latter. She made the decision to look inward and concentrate on what she loved about herself. “I started to look within, and I felt very at home with myself. It really hit me that it didn’t matter what I wore, because it didn’t reflect how I felt and saw myself.” Before Stassinopoulos knew it, she felt at ease and confident. It really didn’t matter how beautiful someone else was, or what someone else was wearing, because Stassinopoulos felt comfortable in her own skin. In this way, she could appreciate the stunning Fergie without going into self-doubt.
“If you are obsessing about what to wear, when in doubt, always wear you,”
– Agapi Stassinopoulos.
So, what are some tangible ways that one can appreciate someone else’s beauty without questioning her own? According to Stassinopoulos, here’s how to stop comparing yourself to others and love yourself more:
Focus on gratitude
“Focusing on gratitude can be very empowering and a beautifying quality, because you start to feel so grateful about your life that it subsides outer comparisons,” explains Stassinopoulos. By no means is focusing on gratitude easy when you are going through troubling self-doubt.
However, “It is definitely something that is worth working on so that you do not feel played by the constant judgements that we put on ourselves and on what you society thinks is the ‘ideal beauty,’” says Stassinopoulos.
Remember that you are more than an appearance
Society puts a lot of pressure on us to be perfect, but really, who is perfect? When feelings of insecurity or envy arise due to the sight of a stunning woman, “It’s about not judging those feelings when they come up, but rather, re-center ourselves into our hearts, because they are much bigger than our physical self,” expresses Stassinopoulos.
Focusing on caring, empathy, love, and compassion for our human experience helps us to focus on a meaningful and heartfelt experience that will positively affirm who we are, and who others are, regardless of appearance.
Keep in mind, others have struggles, too
“Always remember, you have no idea what a beautiful model or somebody who personifies a sense of beauty through her looks, clothing, and body actually feels like inside,” explains Stassinopoulos.
Life challenges the best of us, and nobody is immune to times of trial, tribulation, or feelings of insecurity. That model may just not be feeling so great about herself either. Again, it’s important to recall that we are all human.
Focus on what lights you up from within
Maybe you feel at peace when you have spent the morning playing with your kids and sipping a warm cup of tea. Maybe a long talk with a great friend helps you to feel connected and supported beyond all insecurities. Or maybe, you feel most lit up after a great cardio session.
If you can focus on what brings an inner sense of fulfillment, joy, and contentment to your life, then being derailed by something aesthetic like another’s perceived beauty will seem much less important.
Get in touch with your creative side
Whether it’s sitting down and getting messy with your kid’s paints, or painting your kitchen chairs turquoise, the act of creativity is transformative and allows you to see your abilities beyond anything physical.
“Creativity always makes us feel beautiful”
– Agapi Stassinopoulos.
When you look inward for assurance, growth, and affirmations, remember that you are truly more than just a pretty face or body. Most importantly, you will stop comparing yourself to others and simply love yourself for who you truly are. Not only does love for the self help you tap into your own confidence, but all of a sudden, another woman’s beauty will no longer feel threatening. In fact, she may just become a friend.
Feature photo:Matthew Kane / Unsplash